Easy as A-B-C: New GRCC parking ramp names will ease confusion for students and community members navigating campus

Parking at Grand Rapids Community College will be easy as A-B-C when students return from spring break.

The college’s three main parking ramps will have new names, making it easier for students and community members to find them, part of a comprehensive wayfinding system that will touch all areas of the downtown campus.

The new sign system will help pedestrians and motorists navigate their way through the campus, connecting them with classes and services.

Changing the names of the parking ramps will eliminate confusion, as people often looked for entrances on the streets included in the name of the ramp. Floors will be identified by colors.

The Bostwick Ramp will be Ramp A, the Lyons Ramp will be Ramp B and the DeVos Campus Ramp will be Ramp C.

New signs are planned to be set in place in the week ahead, and other signs across campus will follow.

The $600,000 wayfinding project includes building signs as well as directional aids near roads and on pedestrian plazas, including fresh, modern designs that allow for future growth. It is the first major change to campus signs since the college transitioned from Grand Rapids Junior College 30 years ago.

The college worked closely with Grand Rapids city planners to arrive at an eye-catching style that fits well within the aesthetics of the historic Heritage Hill neighborhood.

Corbin Design of Traverse City was the lead firm, working with GRCC’s Facilities Department and Communications Department graphic design team. Universal Sign Systems of Grand Rapids heads the construction phase of the project.

The design is similar to the one used to highlight GRCC students on banners attached to streetlight poles throughout campus.

Large signs with the current logo will be erected at key intersections to identify where the campus begins and ends. The Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse and Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center will have video display boards to inform students and community members about campus events.

Building addresses will be featured prominently on external signs to assist people following directions on their mobile phones and other devices.

Pedestrian signs with maps are intended to help people traverse the campus on foot, especially those looking to between the nearby DeVos Campus and the Main Campus.

GRCC has made parking on campus less expensive in recent years, part of an overall effort to make a college education more accessible and affordable.

Since fall 2020, students can enter and exit GRCC student parking lots multiple times each day while only being charged once for parking.

Drivers must swipe their RaiderCard when entering and exiting the ramp for this feature to work. Students will be charged $3.50 when they exit the first time and will be able to enter and exit the rest of the day for free. They must use their RaiderCard for all entries and exits for this feature to work. Money can be added to RaiderCards through machines on campus or online. 

That change made it easier for students to leave campus between classes for work or home responsibilities, or drive between the DeVos Campus and Main Campus and not pay more than the daily $3.50 rate.

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